Research and information

A collection of current knowledge about the issue of missing as well as our research reports, projects, collaborations and events.  

Understanding the reasons why people go missing and the impact on families left behind enables Missing People and our partners to provide better services.

Missing People’s research team conducts research and evaluation projects on a range of topics, and seeks to share the findings through these web pages. 

The Policy and Research team also provides a hub of information about missing, advocates for change through campaigns and policy work, and monitors and evaluates the charity's impact.

Missing News

The Policy and Research team circulates a regular newsletter, Missing News, containing up to date information about research, policy, events and sector developments. To sign up to Missing News, or to read previous editions, click here.

Thank you for taking part in the Missing People Quiz. You can find the answers below.

1. How often is a child reported missing in the UK? 

Answer: Every 2 minutes 

Every second a child is missing puts them closer to danger. 

2. How long do you have to wait until you can report a person missing? 

Answer: You do not have to wait 

If somebody is not where you think they should be, and this feels out of character or you believe them to be at risk, then we recommend calling the police straight away. Our helpline is available for free and in confidence on 116 000 if you need support or advice. 

3. Shockingly, 180,000 people are reported missing to the police in the UK each year. What percentage are children? 

Answer: 44% 

80,000 children are reported missing each year. That’s enough to fill 1,000 double decker buses. 

4. Which are more likely to be reported missing, boys or girls?

Answer: Girls 

5. 80% of missing children are found or return in the first… 

Answer: 24 hours 

Thankfully, most children are found or return within a day after being reported missing. However, it is important to remember that this is not always the end of the journey, and the reason the child went missing is often still present. Sadly, many children go missing more than once. 

6. Which of these are reasons why a child might go missing? 

Answer: if you clicked all options, you are correct! 

There are a range of reasons why children go missing, which include: 
Mental health problems 
Conflict at home 
Sexual exploitation 
Child criminal exploitation 
Problems at school 

7. Over half of all missing incidents are for girls and boys aged... 

Answer: The highest risk group is 12-17 

8. Children who are living in care are more likely to be reported missing. Which of the following is true? 

Answer: 1 in 10 children in care are reported missing 

Read our recent report, Still in Harm’s Way, which highlights the alarming number of trafficked and unaccompanied children going missing from care, with many never being found. 

9. What innovative new ways are Missing People using to help Find Every Child 

Answer: All three! 
- A chat bot directing young people at risk of exploitation to charities and services who can offer support 
- A dedicated team of search dogs specially trained to follow the scent of a missing person – more info here! 
- Partnering with pop band The Vamps in their new music video and tour 


Missing People is the only charity in the UK dedicated to finding and supporting missing children and adults and their families. Demand for our services has doubled in the last three years so we are always looking for new ways to reach out to missing children.

We rely on donations to enable us to keep our 24-hour phone line open and to help Find Every Child. 

A donation of £10 today could help us answer a call from a missing child who is likely to be feeling confused, scared or isolated with nowhere else to turn. 

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